Monday, January 31, 2022

Why I Believe Social Media is Still Valuable for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There has been a lot of discussion—ironically taking place ON social media—about whether social media is still a valuable endeavor for writers. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Writing in the Light

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light Ephesians 5:8 (HCSB).

In addition to being a writer, I’m also a photographer. And one of the earliest lessons I learned about good photography was that exposure matters. To be non-technical, for an image to work, there has to be light—and plenty of it—or the picture won’t look right. Not enough light means it’s a blurry dark mess that’s unrecognizable. No matter how much post-editing we do to an underexposed picture, it can’t be fixed. 

Contrary to that, too much light will blow out a picture—littering an otherwise beautiful image with spots of bright white that can’t be toned down. 

I’ve discovered that developing a life of writing is a lot like finding the perfect exposure for a picture. I can’t do it in the dark. The dark is a scary place, and when I’m there, my fears take root and grow. 

As a writer, trying to write in the dark means trying to compose my thoughts away from God. He’s the light-bearer for my life. His insight and illumination brightens all that I write. When I don’t spend time with Him—in prayer, Bible reading, and reflection—my words lose their shine.

The over-exposure that sometimes happens isn’t too much God in my life. There can never be enough of God—ever. But that destructive light comes when I’m spending too much time in the false light of the world. I’m exposing myself to the lies that tell me I’ll never be good enough, or keep up with the trends, or reach the people I want to reach. By bathing myself in the light of those lies, I destroy the composition I’m working toward with my words. 

Now I’m working to compose my writing life with an eye toward the amount, and type, of light around me. Join me and let God use our words to bring light to a world that is dark.


*This is an excerpt from Soul Care for Writers (Bold Vision Books 2019)

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Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Tips to Keep Your Writer’s Back Health

by Ginny Cruz

Low back pain is the bane of many writers’ existence. Hours spent sitting at the desk pounding out the next bestseller often lead to pain and stiffness. Why does this occur? 

Friday, January 28, 2022

Stay on Track with Your Writing by Learning When to Say No

By Lori Hatcher @LoriHatcher2

I’d been working hard to break into the publishing world. One day I received an invitation to blog for a well-known publisher. They’d read my book for homeschooling moms and thought I’d be a good fit. When I opened the mail invitation, my heart leapt. This is the break I’ve been hoping for. If I blog for this publisher, thousands of people will read my work. I’ll gain name recognition, build a following, and position myself for future publishing opportunities.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Common Writing Obstacles (Part 1): Time

by Henry McLaughlin @RiverBendSagas

Over the next few blogs, I’ll be exploring some of the most common obstacles every writer faces at least once in their career. I’ll begin with the obstacle of time.

“I think I’ve got a book in me if I could only find the time to write.” We’ve all heard this statement from would-be writers. We’ve probably said it ourselves. I know I have. And not that long ago. I’ve been writing for nearly twenty years, and I still have moments where it feels like I don’t have time to write. I’ve learned this feeling is the Lord’s way of telling me I have too much on my plate.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Tips for Writing the Anti-Hero and the Dark Hero

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Writers often write types of heroes break the traditional view of protagonists with the additive of anti-hero and dark hero.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Why Should Writers Learn to Analyze Fiction?

by MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio

As someone who spent years analyzing the work of numerous classic authors while earning my PhD and MFA, and as a former university professor who has taught fiction writing and literature, I’d like to share with you some insights regarding the reasons I think writers should learn how critically and objectively to analyze the work of other writers.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Beware the Trap of Comparing Yourself to Other Writers

by Ane Mulligan @AneMulligan

As writers, it's hard not to compare ourselves with other authors. But it's exactly what we shouldn't do. When you answered God's call to write, he had a time and a place in mind for you. You may become a bestseller, or you may not. But it might be your book that reaches someone who desperately needs your words to heal—to go on to do great things for the Lord. That, my friend, is the true meaning of success.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Become a More Observant Writer with These 7 Tips

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

By and large writers are an observant lot. Things others might brush over or miss entirely stay with us, sparking ideas that blossom and grow. An overheard conversation can lead us to the plot of entire book. 

But like any skill that comes naturally, there's still room for improvement. I call it focusing the writer’s eye. Today I want to give you seven tips to help you focus your writer's eye.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Does a Main Character Need to be Likeable?

by Zena Dell Lowe @ZenaDellLowe

Anyone who's ever studied the craft of writing will have heard the adage that a main character must be likeable. For the most part, this is true, because audiences don't tend to get emotionally invested in characters they don't like. If our readers don’t care, then the stakes will mean nothing to them. Any story that fails to create an emotional bond between the MC and the reader ultimately fails altogether. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

From Speaker to Writer or Writer to Speaker?

by Crystal Bowman

Like peanut butter and jelly, writing and speaking just go together. Though each can stand on its own, they are better together. But what comes first—writing or speaking? Well, that depends. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Amazon’s A+ Content Now Available to Authors and Publishers

by Susan U. Neal RN, MBA, MHS @SusanNealYoga

Would you like to improve your book Amazon sales by up to 10 percent? There is a new technique to increase the likelihood that a reader will push the buy button when they get to your book’s Amazon sales page. You can improve your chances of closing that sale through using Amazon’s A+ Content, and it is free. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Things to Do Before A Writer Hits Send

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

There’s a little voice in our writer minds that likes to nag. Usually it acts as our friend, reminding us to double check our articles for typos. But sometimes this little voice becomes obsessive, causing us to worry that an editor will find something obviously wrong with our submissions even though we have no idea what the problem might be. 

Nag, nag, nag. How do we silence the little editor voice in our heads and have confidence that our articles and manuscripts are ready for submission?

Monday, January 17, 2022

Article Marketing to Sell Books and Build Your Platform

Edie here. No, you're not seeing double. I messed up. The post by Karen yesterday was the one she sent me for December. So you got it two months in a row. To fix my mistake, I unpublished the one from yesterday and below is her NEW post! Please forgive me. Mistakes happen to us all. 

Article Marketing to Sell Books and Build Your Platform
by Karen Whiting @KarenHWhiting

Businesses know that articles drive people to their website and inspire them to buy their products much more than paid ads. The power of article marketing also applies to selling books. It’s a great way to introduce your book’s benefits. Articles can also build your platform and followers to help you garner a book contract.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Writer—Get Ready for New

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

Whether you are someone who begins your writing new year with the school calendar each August, or you follow the calendar that begins each January, most of us begin a new year in some fashion. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Resurrecting The Buried Life in our Writing

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

When we sit to write, we’re challenged to let our minds go to that place of wonder that lies in the deep crevices of our hearts. The “Buried Life,” (a term coined in a poem by Matthew Arnold,) is waiting to be rescued from the prison of political and social correctness. The freedom to write truth in books, articles, and speak in the public forum can lose its luster through the busyness of keeping up with social media and the constant flow of disturbing news. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

A Speaking & Writing Schedule in Uncertain Times

by Yvonne Ortega @YvonneOrtega1

You and I are not in control. Therefore, we need to be cautious in making plans in 2022. This has always been true, but it’s more obvious now. We need to be conservative and have a plan B and a plan C.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

12 New Things for Writers to Try This Year!

Edie here. Today I'm super excited to announce Julie's latest book, Children’s Bible Stories for Bedtime. I endorsed this book, I own this book, and I've already given away copies to friends. There's more info at the end of this post, but I highly recommend it!

12 New Things for Writers to Try This Year!
by Julie Lavender @JLavender Writes

What’s new, writing friends? 

We’re two weeks into a brand new year, and I always love to ponder Isaiah 43:19 with the changing of the calendar.

“Behold, I will do a new thing,” God proclaims in the first part of that verse. In the next part of the verse, God promises to make pathways in the wilderness and produce streams in barren land. 

If you’re like me, you sometimes feel like the writing journey vacillates between wild and impenetrable jungles and parched deserts on most days, with mountaintop experiences sprinkled in frequently for good measure. I’m thankful that I can count on God’s presence along the way, wherever that roller coaster ride to publication (or not) takes me. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Writers & Writing in the New Year & in a New World

by Linda Gilden @LindaGilden

Last night I sat on my sister’s porch visiting with my three-year-old great nephew. He’s the cutest little boy and talks incessantly. We all sat around, properly spaced, in our masks and enjoyed getting to know each other. 

Sitting there on the brink of a new year I realized this sweet three-year-old faced 2022 just like he had every other year of his life, wearing his mask and air-hugging those he loved. To him, things had never been any different. It was perfectly fine to keep our distance, watch every breath our loved ones took by the in-and-out movement of the mask, and look forward to the day we can have him sit in our laps while we read to him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

A Writer's Responsibility for the Words We Pen

by Cindy K. Sproles @CindyDevoted

I'm working on fulfilling a contract for a devotional. It's not your basic devotional, but it includes tidbits of history, possible new perspectives, and reasons about the whys and hows the reader may not have considered. I've looked for different types of scripture. Some obscure because it forces me to study, others simple. I've found questions and perspectives I never imagined. 

Monday, January 10, 2022

How to Write a Query Letter

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson 

All writers should develop the skill of writing a compelling query letter. A query is basically a written pitch—these are usually sent through email, but may occasionally be included in a proposal. 

How to Query

This simple concept has caused more anguish for writers than anything else around. But in the freelance world, it’s a necessary evil. Your queries may find their way to the editor's desk in hard copy format or email, but the principles are the same.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Hope in the New Year

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

Although a goal-oriented type of guy—I love check-off lists and passed along that trait to my daughter—I stopped making New Year resolutions a long time ago. 

Since I set goals throughout the year, I wondered what the point of relegating them to one day was. And then, too, the statistics of keeping them aren’t too encouraging. Many are broken within a short period. Hours. Days. Weeks. But failing to make goals on one day doesn’t mean everything has gone well throughout the year. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Do Your 2022 Goals Reflect Your Values?

by Beth K. Vogt @BethVogt

My husband Rob and I went to Hawaii for the first time in December. He attended a medical conference, and I went along, well, for Hawaii. And for time with wonderful husband, too, of course.

During the five days of Rob’s conference, I had something I rarely experience: time to myself.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Before You Criticize a Writer

by A.C. Williams @ACW_Author

  • “This is the worst book I’ve ever read.”
  • “The author obviously doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
  • “People keep saying this book is wonderful, and I totally disagree. It’s awful, and no good Christian should read it.”
Ever seen reviews like that? I have. People have written them about my books. Nothing rips your heart out like a harsh review on a story you poured your heart and soul into. 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Case for Re-Reading Writing Books

by Lynn H. Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

For many writers, the transition from one year to the next is a time filled with evaluation and planning. We consider what we did the year before and look to the future, sketching out our goals for everything from the number of pounds we’ll lose to the number of books we’ll read. 

I tend to set my goals based on areas of weakness, not strength, which is why I rarely set a reading goal. I read a lot, so I don’t need any incentive to encourage this behavior! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

The Power of the Characters in Stories

by Sarah Sally Hamer @SarahSallyHamer

Characters are powerful. They carry a story with their passion, their love, their hate. Each one has their own understanding of themselves—which we, as writers, have to capture on the page.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

What Not To Do In 2022 for Writers

by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

Make your writing life better by choosing what not to do in 2022.

When making those traditional New Year’s resolutions around what you will do, it's perhaps more important to know what you won't do. “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything,” John Maxwell said.

Monday, January 3, 2022

5 Biblical Resolutions for Writers

By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

Happy New Year, fellow writers! This time of year, people tend to set resolutions, though many of them have a self-centered focus. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthier and to reach goals, but we can sometimes miss the big picture. Today, let’s take a biblical perspective that I hope will encourage you in your calling as a writer.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Year of Story

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

He sat quietly in the morning light, head bowed low like someone who had been made to understand he was not worth people’s time and attention. Nobody in the weary throng spoke to him. He was just one of hundreds who crowded the stuffy room of nations seeking refuge from war and terror.

But one person cared enough to stop and gently ask the question that makes the mute speak, the blind see, and the deaf hear.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

New-Year, New-Life Resolutions for Writers

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

Is it really 2022 already? I think many of us are looking forward to a much better year than the past few. As much as I don’t feel ready for a new year, I am ready to see the last one move on out. Hasta la vista, baby.

This time of year, many of us work on making a list of New Year’s resolutions. Some people sneer at that because we all know that we break most of our resolutions before spring.

And that is true. And many of them should be broken or discarded. I still think resolutions can be very helpful for all of us. Making a resolution means you’ve taken the time to consider where you are in your life, where it looks like you’re headed, and if and how you want to change it. Socrates once said that the unexamined life is one that is not worth living.